PHILOSOPHY 316. (3) SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. If persons are equal, how can anyone have legitimate political authority over others? Who defines justice, freedom, and equality? Where do rights come from, and what are the limits of tolerance? Which social and political institutions are worth defending? This course encourages students to think critically about the nature of human society, the role of the individual vis-à-vis the group, and the legitimacy of the state. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. Offered: spring semester. PHILOSOPHY 412-413. (3-3) JUNIOR/SENIOR SEMINAR. A capstone sequence, required for junior and senior philosophy majors, which usually focuses on an individual philosopher or issue in some depth. The seminar format encourages especially close reading of seminal texts, prompts vigorous discussions of the same, and develops students’ facility in the conventions of philosophical research. Students also have the special opportunity to work closely—discussing their ideas one on one and honing the arguments of their individual research essays—with two visiting scholars, both of whom are experts on the topic of the seminar. The capstone sequence is an exciting and fitting culmination of our majors’ experience in the department. Prerequisite: major in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Offered: 412 in spring semester of even-numbered years; 413 in spring semester of odd-numbered years.